Image of Mercury Transit of the Sun, Seen From Mars
Mercury Transit of the Sun, Seen From Mars. NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Texas A&M

Mercury Transit across the Sun

When Mercury passes between the Sun and Mars in its orbit around the Sun, a transit occurs. Mercury is relatively small, so it only covers up a very small part of the Sun as it travels past. It looks like a small dark dot moving across the face of the Sun.

Since no human explorers have traveled to Mars yet, we must rely on our robot astronomers for good views of the night sky from the Martian surface.

2014 Mercury Transit seen from the Martian Surface by Curiosity

A Mercury transit doesn't happen often, but NASA's Mars Rover Curiosity observed the Mercury transit from the Martian Surface on June 4, 2014.

See Curiosity's Raw Images of the Sun.

New NASA images from Mars showing Mercury as a dim spot against the sun are the first observation from any planet other than Earth of any planet's solar transit. Read More >>

Mercury in Front of the Sun, Seen From Mars   

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Mars rovers Opportunity and Curiosity have seen other transits, such as when Mars' moon Phobos passed in front of the Sun!

Animation of Martian Moon Blocking Sun

This animation shows the transit of Mars' moon Phobos across the Sun. It is made up of images taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the morning of the 45th martian day, or sol, of its mission. This observation will help refine our knowledge of the orbit and position of Phobos. Other spacecraft may be able to take better images of Phobos using this new information. This event is similar to solar eclipses seen on Earth in which our Moon passes in front of the Sun. The images were taken by the rover's panoramic camera.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell

In transit, Mercury appears as a string of small black dots running across the orange disk of the Sun.
Mercury transits the Sun as seen from Earth in 2006. Credit: ESA/NASA/SOHO

Want to watch the next Mercury transit from Earth?

Pull out your telescopes on May 9, 2016!

Mercury Transits of the Sun as seen from Mars:
A Century of Opportunity, 2000 to 2100

December 18, 2003 January 26, 2034 March 6, 2064
January 12, 2005 February 21, 2035 July 27, 2073
November 23, 2005 July 13, 2044 August 22, 2074
May 10, 2013 May 24, 2045 December 17, 2082
June 4, 2014 November 8, 2052 January 12, 2084
April 15, 2015 December 3, 2053 November 22, 2084
October 25, 2023 October 14, 2054 May 9, 2092
September 5, 2024 April 25, 2063 June 3, 2093
    April 14, 2094